“Hotel Food Found Right in a Kopitiam”
Located just a stone’s throw away from Lavender MRT station, Crazie Chef has taken over a humble stall in a kopitiam at Crawford Lane just behind Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee in an effort to offer hotel-standard Western food to the masses.
While they do offer slightly pricier menu items like lamb shank and BBQ pork ribs, Crazie Chef still serves up the more common Western dishes such as pasta, grilled chicken and pork chop – similar to all other Western food stalls situated in a kopitiam.
Crazie Chef’s Fried Mushrooms ($4.90) was delightfully crispy on the outside but juicy in the inside. Allowing the mushrooms to retain their moisture while deep-frying them requires skill and I was happy that the chef had managed to pull the dish off. I also found that the dish was a whole lot better when dipped in some mustard -the batter tasted a little too flour-y for me.
Carbonara ($8.90). The bright yellow egg yolk perched prettily upon the spaghetti, which has been generously coated with creamy sauce then sprinkled with copious amounts of bacon pieces and cheese – the dish’s presentation scored an ‘A’ from me immediately. Mixing the egg yolk in was also such a joy for us in terms of interactivity.
The dish was rich, smooth and flavourful without coming off as too jelat. The saltiness level of the carbonara was managed just right and the bacon pieces helped to enhance the savoury taste of the dish.
The only small complaint I have about the dish is that the bacon pieces were not crispy enough. The crunch of the bacon bits would have served as a nice contrast against the mushiness of the entire dish. Ah well, it was nevertheless an enjoyable dish!
The BBQ Pork Ribs ($19.90) came with sides of creamy mushroom mashed potatoes, broccoli and button mushrooms. While the mushroom mashed potatoes were a tad too salty for my liking, I enjoyed the ribs thoroughly. The meat was easy to cut through and I’m pleased to say: even easier to chew on.
The broccoli was the shocker: I am generally not a big fan of this vegetables which closely resemble miniature trees but I actually ate three of them for this dish! Seasoned to perfection with Rosemary, one of my favourite herbs, the broccoli was fragrant and firm just to the right extent. Yum.
Delicious. Delectable. Scrumptious. Those words do not even begin to describe Crazie Chef’s Lamb Shank ($26.80). It is served with the same sides as the BBQ Pork Ribs: mushroom mashed potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms.
When lightly prodded with a fork, the meat simply fell off the bone, revealing insides which were delightfully pink and tender. It was also impressive when we found out through eating it that there was nary a hint of gaminess to the taste of the lamb.
If I absolutely had to pick out something which didn’t agree fully with my tastebuds, it would be the sauce of the lamb shank. It was a tad too overly-seasoned, veering a little on the side of being overwhelming to the senses. But if you scrape the excess sauce off the meat and just pop the lamb in your mouth, the taste and texture of the lamb itself is still a treat to be marvelled at.
We ended our meal off with the Steak ($16.80), done to a medium rare. Slicing into the steak exposed deep purplish meat which I could not wait to put into my mouth. While the flavour of the New Zealand steak was robust and full-bodied from being dry-aged for a couple days, I was left quite disappointed with how sinewy it was.
I spent a long time trying to chew and swallow just a slice of it. It must have something to do with the particular cut of beef Crazie Chef had gotten. Also, I would have loved the steak a lot more if it were more evenly cooked.
Overall, Crazie Chef’s menu items are impressive and worth a try. I also admire Crazie Chef’s endeavour to provide hotel-standard food to the masses, but I’m just not sure if the kopitiam crowd would take to their price points that well.
Expected Damage: $10-25 per pax